8 Best Day Trips From Cologne, Germany - Updated 2023

best day trips from cologne
| 5 min read

The beautiful city of Cologne is a marvelous place that hasn’t stopped exciting visitors with its gorgeous tourist attractions and stunning landscapes. In truth, this gorgeous city can totally make you fall in love with the German society and culture right off the bat. Thanks to its unique range of museums which are certainly one of a kind, visitors simply can’t take enough of this lustrous city. And since we’re talking about discovering its best features, it’s about time you discovered its mysterious and charismatic character via the top day Cologne trips! Are you ready to plunge deep into its lovely nature?

1. Cologne: Siebengebirge with SEA LIFE or Drachenfels

Löwenburg, Siebengebirge
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user BorgoHeli used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Here we are with the first extremely adventurous and super exciting day trip across the lovely city of Cologne! Normally, the meeting point is the KD Pier, which is located in Cologne’s Old Town. Besides, it’s situated in a close proximity to the wonderful Rheingarten.

Naturally, it’s not like you can hardly find the best city’s spots all by yourself. You can totally do this without having any issue. The point is that it’s always much more interesting and thrilling to explore a new place in the company of other friendly and positive people!

Tour the best spots: The Siebengebirge trip starts with a visit to the Siebengebirge as tourists will be able to explore the sea life that offers more than 2,000 marine animals. How exciting!

Cologne: Siebengebirge with SEA LIFE or Drachenfels

Address: KD Pier in Cologne’s Old Town, Rheingarten


2. Day trip: Cologne-Bonn

Cologne Cathedral in evening
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Emmanuel Gill used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Unlike many other full-day city tours, the lovely day trip to Cologne-Bonn is perhaps one of the best options for both locals and newcomers. Not only does it offer a free admission (no charges available) but it provides the chance to explore the lovely city of Bonn so well. Of course, if you’re interested in other great and prominent locations, you’d better review other affordable travel packages as well. They will surely meet your desires and preferences. Besides, there are many other options regarding the transportation you’ll choose for your sightseeing tour of the city.

Be an explorer: You can explore the stunning city’s features by riding a double-decker tour bus or you can always access most of them by boat. It’s up to you!

Day trip: Cologne-Bonn

Address: Bonn 53111, Germany


3. Explore Aachen

Aachen Cathedral
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user José Luiz used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located about 60 kilometers (36 miles) southwest of the gorgeous city of Cologne, Aachen often turns out to be quite difficult to reach given the distance between these two cities. Therefore, many people simply prefer to skip this option. However, if they had known about this wonderful one-day trip, the chances are that they might have involved themselves in this exciting city tour. Built in 796 AD, the cozy city of Aachen can totally offer a worthwhile variety of great tourist attractions. For example, the Town City Hall and Elisenbrunnen are well-known locations in Aachen which absolutely deserve any tourist’s time and attention.

Make the most of your one-day trip: Aachen is only a one-hour drive away from Cologne! Don’t miss it!

Explore Aachen

Address: about 60 kilometers (36 miles) southwest from Cologne

Website: Aachen

4. Day trip from Cologne: Visit Essen

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user João Pimentel Fer... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

While being in Cologne, you can also visit another gorgeous German city, namely the shiny Essen. Actually, this lovely place is located in a close proximity to Cologne. The distance between these cities is no more than 60 kilometers (36 miles). So, you should totally take advantage of this unique opportunity to discover the charming nature of Cologne and Essen all at once! If you do like this awesome idea, then you should know that some of the best tourist attractions of Essen are the prominent Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, Villa Hügel, the Old Synagogue and the Essen Minster.

Visit Essen: Note that Essen is about a one-hour drive from Cologne. Don’t miss this lovely chance!

Day trip from Cologne: Visit Essen

Address: 60 kilometers (36 miles) north from Cologne

Website: Day trip from Cologne: visit Essen

5. Enjoy Dusseldorf

Düsseldorf Germany
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sami99tr used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Here we go with another fantastic idea that can totally help you have the best time of your life in Cologne, Germany! Without wasting too much of your time, you can instantly mark Dusseldorf down on your map. Note that this city is a splendid location that can offer you such an abundance of curious and exceptional landmarks! Located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north from Cologne, this marvelous city was actually first mentioned in the history books back in 1135. Presently, this lovely city is a major cultural and financial center that brims with exotic places and worthwhile tourist spots!

Come around: Have a wonderful time while visiting one of the gorgeous German cities! Note: the trip is no longer than 30 minutes! Have fun!

Enjoy Dusseldorf

Address: about 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from Cologne

Website: Dusseldorf

6. Feel the beauty of Remagen

Remagen, Rhineland, Germany
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user …trialsanderrors used under CC BY 2.0

Normally, you could always trust an agency that can get you to the location you’d love to reach. However, not all of them can offer you all of the places you’d desire to explore, right? For example, Remagen is a city that can’t be seen on most of the brochures and one-day travel deals, but it certainly is an amazing option as well! In this sense, you’d better plan your vacation ahead since the lovely city is no more than 45 kilometers (27 miles) from Cologne.

Travel: Usually, the one-day trip from Cologne to Remagen is no longer than 45 minutes. Don’t miss it!

Feel the beauty of Remagen

Address: only 45 kilometers (27 miles) from Cologne

Website: Remagen

7. Dormagen

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Niklas Bildhauer used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Just in case you’ve been wondering what else you could possibly do while being around in the beautiful city of Cologne, you’ve got something special for you. Meet the wonderful Dormagen, a small yet really cozy and wonderful city that’s quite close to Cologne itself! Reaching it is super easy and affordable and you don’t need the services of any other travel agency for sure! Just buy yourself a train ticket, ease yourself in your seat and enjoy your 12-minute drive to this gorgeous German city!

Be an adventurer: Note that there are many things you could do around here, so why not start with the lovely and prominent Tierpark Tannenbusch? Just pick a tour, and you’re ready to go!


Address: 12 minutes by train

Website: Dormagen

8. Day trip: Cologne to Frankfurt (from USD 289.0)

Another pretty exciting way to explore this lovely German territory is by heading for the amazing Cologne! Wouldn’t that be awesome? Come around and discover the natural beauty of two German cities all at once!

Also, you can totally kill two birds with one stone, as the old saying goes, and explore them both all at once! For this goal, just enroll yourself in this great adventure and enjoy the magnificent character of these two lovely German cities! The starting point is actually in Frankfurt as it’s about a two-hour drive to the stunning city of Cologne! Just hop on board and enjoy a full-day trip to the lovely Cologne as you will stop by the most significant landmarks and tourist attractions.

Enjoy your trip: The one-day trip includes the City Town Hall, Rhine River, the Cologne Cathedral and many other great spots of interest.

Cologne Day Trip from Frankfurt

Duration: 9 hours

26 reviews

Expore Cologne's neighboring cities

Cologne Germany
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user CEphoto, Uwe Aranas used under CC BY-SA 3.0

As you’ve just seen, Cologne’s a lovely place which offers so many curious and worthwhile spots that any tourist will certainly be impressed with. Besides, while being around, visitors may also enjoy visiting other splendid neighboring cities which are no more than a one-hour drive away from Cologne in general. Whether you’d prefer to trust an agency or you’d love to travel on your own, it’s totally up to you! Whatever your choice, you can be sure that you’re going to have the best time of your life on a German territory!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Marina Yoveva is a creative thinker, adventurer, and a poetry lover. In her spare time, she loves reading, writing on her personal blog and spending time with her family and friends. She's also a...Read more

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